Whether you are a new bird owner or have had your chirpy friend by your side for some time, becoming acquainted with their likes and dislikes is essential. This statement holds even more significance for their eating habits. Grapes are a healthy and delicious treatment choice for humans, but can parakeets eat grapes with the same zest as a fruit lover?
Parakeets can eat grapes, so do not hesitate to share your healthy snack with them, but do so in moderation.
Grapes and certain other fruits should only constitute a portion of a parakeet’s diet; as much as they have nutritional benefits, too many could become a health hazard. (source)
Why Should Parakeets Eat Grapes In Moderation?
Like a human’s diet, a parakeet should also include a variety of foods to provide as much nutrition as possible.
Bird seeds and pellets should make up the most significant portion of their diet. Both pack a nutritional punch, so providing a mix of the two is a good idea. The rest of their diet should include fruits and vegetables. There is a large variety to choose from and many different ways to serve them (chopped, mashed, etc.), but the most nutritious ones are dark green and orange. (source)
High Fructose Content
As delicious as they are, grapes contain a high amount of fructose, so feeding them to your parakeet in small portions is best for them. They’ll work well in giving your bird a significant energy boost, but feeding grapes to them too often could result in obesity and other health issues. If feeding them a mixture, make sure they eat their other fruits too, as frequently they’ll favor the taste of grapes. (source)
Nutritional Benefits Of Grapes
As much as parakeets enjoy eating grapes for the taste, it’s of great benefit to them because of how highly nutritious they are.
Despite having an impressive list of vitamins and minerals that lay the foundation for a healthy immune system, grapes also contain particular compounds and nutrients to help parakeets live healthier lives. (source)
- Resveratrol: is present in only a few fruits, grapes being one of them. It is a compound that prevents arteries from hardening, gives the immune system a boost, and helps the body fight off the production of free radicals.
- Essential Nutrients: such as flavonoids, carotenoids, and anthocyanins are all present in the nutritional breakdown of grapes. What makes them so significant is their ability to reduce cancer risk.
- Polyphenols: These potent compounds that pack antioxidants help reduce swelling and boost good cholesterol.
What Other Fruits Can Parakeets Eat?
Although sharing a snack with your parakeet is a great bonding experience and a chance to enjoy a well-balanced diet, not all food you eat is suitable for them. It’s essential to know which fruits are safe to be consumed by your parakeet (and which have toxic seeds that need to remove) to avoid any health complications. (source)
- Apples: are a great choice because they rank high up in the favorites, but be sure to cut the seeds out as they are toxic to a parakeet.
- Apricots: are also safe and healthy, but just like apples, the pit is also toxic, so make sure to leave it out.
- Bananas: make for easier consumption because they are softer than most fruits and seedless.
- Blackberries: these are perfect bite-sized fruits for the parakeets and have seeds that aren’t toxic to them.
- Blueberries: another perfect-sized favorite that has no seeds.
- Cherries: as long as you leave the pits out, cherries are a healthy snack because they contain potassium, copper, vitamin A, and antioxidants.
- Coconut: the perfect choice of snack to hit those magnesium and iron markers.
- Grapefruit: a delicious choice high in vitamin C and phytonutrients; be sure to take the seeds out before giving them to your parakeet.
- Mandarin Oranges: remove the seeds from these two, and you’ll have another snack for your bird that’s high in vitamin C.
- Oranges: another fruit with seeds that need to be left out; otherwise, they make a great snack.
- Mango: Although a mango’s pit is not toxic to parakeets, removing it will make it easier to eat. They’re a great source of vitamin C and vitamin A.
- Melons: like mangos, they are also rich in vitamin C and A.
- Peaches: also high in vitamin C and A, peaches make for a tasty snack, as long as the toxic pits aren’t there.
- Pears: other than the toxic seeds, you’ll also need to remove the skin before giving them to your parakeet, as it isn’t easy to digest. The rest of it provides a tremendous amount of fiber.
- Pineapple: just as you would enjoy your pineapple without the skin, so do parakeets. They’re the perfect snack to meet those vitamin C and B targets.
- Plums: high in fiber and vitamin C, plums are ideal with the toxic pits removed.
- Strawberries: other than their tasty flavor, strawberries are among the few fruits in which large pits and seeds do not need to worry.
- Watermelon: rich in vitamin C and lycopene (great for heart health), seedless watermelon is suitable for your parakeet to avoid it being a choking hazard.
Other fruits that are safe for parakeets to eat are: tangerines, raisins, currants, mulberries, loganberries, lemons, dates, raspberries, juniper berries, cranberries, kiwi, gooseberries, rowan berries, plus, rose hips, hawthorn berries, wild elderberries, and figs. When fed sparingly, these fruits will provide sufficient hydration and nutrition for your parakeet. (source)
Foods Unsafe For Parakeets
This popular food that humans love to eat for healthy fats is a no go for parakeets. The reason is that avocado leaves contain a substance called ‘persin’, which poses a dangerous risk to a parakeet’s heart, and most other birds. It is also known to cause respiratory problems, meaning that avocados are one of the few fruits not safe to give to your bird. (source)
The energy-boosting stimulant loved by many people worldwide is certainly not safe for parakeets. The side effects include an increased heart rate leading to arrhythmias and hyperactivity and possibly even cardiac arrest. The safer option for your bird is a refreshing serving of fruit juice – the more natural, the better. (source)
Following caffeine, which is an ingredient in sure chocolates nowadays, the main culprit in chocolate is ‘theobromine’ – the principal alkaloid of the Theobroma Cacao plant. It can also cause hyperactivity, increased heart rate, tremors, seizures, and even fatal. Even though the darker chocolates are more toxic for your bird, it’s safer not to give them any. (source)
Garlic And Onion
When it comes to vegetables, most are beneficial for parakeets to eat. However, Garlic and onion are two condiments that should never feed your bird. Onions have particular sulfur compounds that can form ulcers in their mouths and throats, possibly even resulting in anemia. On the other hand, Garlic contains a combination called allicin, which weakens birds severely, sometimes resulting in death. (source)
Salted versions of particular foods may be the preferred option for humans, but unsalted is the way for parakeets. An even small amount of intake will disturb their electrolyte and fluid balance, causing them to experience extreme thirst, dehydration, kidney failure, and possibly even death. (source)
Milk And Dairy Products
Like some lactose-intolerant people, a bird’s body does not have the enzymes to digest lactose properly. The mother explicitly produces a cow’s milk for its baby calf, and as such, it is not suitable for a bird that is minute in comparison. It’s also better not to risk feeding your parakeet something with bacteria or fungus from not being refrigerated properly. (source)
Foods High In Fat
The same cholesterol build-up process that occurs in a human’s body from eating too many fatty foods also takes place in that of a parakeet. It means that obesity, heart disease, and other health complications that accompany excessive intake of these foods will also result from a parakeet. Because birds love nuts and are high in fat, draw the line for your parakeet at one unsalted nut a day. (source)
Can Parakeets Eat Peanut Butter?
With the knowledge that nuts are safe for parakeets to eat, many bird owners will direct that same question toward peanut butter. Peanut butter is safe to give to your parakeet, but it’s essential to keep two things in mind – feeding in moderation and the quality of the peanut butter.
It’s best to give moderate portions of peanut butter to your parakeet. Peanuts naturally carry a carcinogenic substance called ‘aflatoxin’. It is dangerous for animals and humans when consumed in large amounts. Bear in mind that your feathered friend is much smaller than you are, so the amount given to them should be a lot less than what you eat yourself. (source)
With variety and choice being so plentiful nowadays, it’s essential to give your parakeet a peanut butter that is healthiest for them. Some pet stores sell peanut butter explicitly made for animals. Still, if you can’t find those, the next best option is the most natural versions – meaning as few added ingredients as possible and those with little to no sodium or salt. (source)
Tips For Feeding Your Parakeet
As much as the quality and type of food you’re giving to your parakeet is of utmost importance, there are other pointers to keep in mind for your pet bird’s health. (source)
- Please keep track of the amount of food they eat every day so that any differences can help point out possible health complications.
- Give them fresh water daily.
- Please make sure the foods you give them are fresh too.
- Clean their food and water dishes every day.
- Try giving them a specific food more than once if they don’t enjoy it the first time around – certain foods take a little time.
Do Parakeets Need Extra Vitamins And Minerals?
You can give your parakeet a powdered vitamin formulation to make sure you are covering their bases. These are best on fresh foods or pellets, instead of seeds or in water where they are wasted or encourage harmful bacterial growth. Cuttlebones, mineral blocks, oyster shells, or eggshells are essential for their minerals.
Oyster shells are also an excellent calcium source, but others include bone meal, dicalcium phosphate with D3, and mineral blocks with calcium. It’s also a good idea to give your parakeet a source of iodine. (source)
To give them the healthiest life possible, pay special attention to the diet you feed your parakeet daily. It means providing them with a good mixture of pellets, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. Besides the many other fruits that are safe for them to eat, grapes are included in that list and have a decent amount of healthy nutritional value.
There are, however, foods that are unsafe for parakeets to eat. Luckily, that list is smaller than the safe foods, so putting a menu together won’t be difficult. Parakeets love to snack, especially if they can do so with you. As long as it is in moderation, one shareable snack is peanut butter.
If you are worried about meeting all of the required nutritional targets for your parakeet, you can always provide them with extra vitamins and minerals from supplements. Lastly, always keep an eye on portions, quality, and cleanliness. Minor details will go a long way in your parakeet’s health.
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